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You have landed on this page because you want to learn how to use the NLP communication model to have high quality conversations on hot social and political topics. Learn how to get the upper hand in a discussion using NLP rhetoric and debating skills. NLP and Hypnotherapy, Gold Coast... Neuro Linguistic Programming sessions - online coaching available.
By Abby Eagle (2017)
In this article I am going to give you some tips on how to get the upper hand in a discussion? Let’s use two types of situations. One is sales and the second is politics.
Just imagine that you are a sales person. Someone gives you a call on the phone and asks you for a price on an item. What would you do?
Now you have a choice to ask questions, make statements or give commands.
So let’s say you make a statement. You give them the price. Then what? They say thank you and hang up. And you have no idea about the interaction at all – just that someone asked a question and you gave an answer.
On the other hand you are a sales person – someone gives you a call and asks you for a price on an item – but now you respond by asking them a question. Why? Because you need to set the conversation in a context in which you have some power.
So you ask a question like, why are you interested in this item – or if I could get you that item would you be interested in buying it? Anything just to get a conversation happening and build rapport. So once you understand what need the customer is trying to solve then you give them the price.
Okay now let’s shift across to politics and why I was motivated to make this video. You see, I saw an Australian politician on youtube. Now I am being purposely vague here about the politician and the woman so that you don’t hook into the content.
The politician was in a shopping mall and a woman came up to her and asked her a question. The politician just answered the questions. The woman seemed to get some degree of satisfaction and then she walked away. And I thought geeez – this politician doesn’t even know the basics – every sales person knows that if you want to get the upper hand you always answer a question with a question.
Now Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychologist suggests gathering as much information as you can about your opponents side of the argument – and then work to demolish it. The aim is to have more information on the subject than your adversary.
Keep in mind that you can ask questions of yourself and you can direct the questions at others. There are a number of types of questions that you could ask.
1. Direct questions.
2. Leading questions.
3. Open ended questions.
4. Meaning questions.
Direct questions are ‘yes no’ type questions. Like, “Are you going to vote?” Or, “Who are you going to vote for?”
A leading question directs the listener to respond in a certain way. For example, “What was it about what the politician said that resonates with you?” – is a leading question.
An open ended question invites the listener to respond in whatever way they want. For example, “What do you think about what the politician said?”
Meaning questions are a type of leading open ended question. For example, “What does that mean to you? Why is such and such important to you? What is important to you about that? Once you get that then what will you get to have and to experience?”
All types of questions are useful in the right context but depending upon the context some types of questions are more useful than others. So in the same way that a champion chess player learns to recognise the significance of their opponents moves an artful communicator maps out the structure of the discussion. I do that using the NLP Peace Mapping model which is based primarily upon Michael Hall’s Mind Lines which is based upon Robert Dilts Sleight of Mouth model.
I also use the Hierarchy of Ideas model. This works with logical levels of abstraction and logical types. It is a way to specify the topic of the conversation and track it as it shifts. So in some way you build a grid in your mind. And keep in mind that one of the most powerful tools that we have is the NLP Meta Model.
So how to get the upper hand in a discussion? Don’t get suckered into answering questions. Track the conversation. Be careful not to get led into a linguistic trap. Give yourself permission at any moment to call time out – and to step back – review the conversation – and start again. And maybe it’s not so much about winning the argument as in learning something. And if you learn something then the odds are that your adversary would have also learned something. And that is very important.
If you have got some value from this article please take a moment to leave a comment in the box below and share the video on social media. If you want some help with rhetoric and debating training then feel free to contact myself – Abby Eagle using the contact form - top left of this page.
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